DAY EIGHT - Tuesday, December 5

TWICE TOO LATE

Thereís just a light dusting of snow on the car this morning. And itís warm again. 32.

I see Rick stopped in Round Prairie this morning. Heís looking at tracks in the snow. Wolves for sure, probably Shrimps.

There is nothing in Lamar so I continue past Slough to Boulder, where I join the crew and various other watchers. Most people catch glimpses of them heading towards the Trough, but for some reason I just canít get my scope on them in time.

Jeremy saw 6.

I end up at the Big Lot near Petrified Tree. I look everywhere for them, as does everyone else. But Iím still wolfless at 10AM.

It feels strange to have such warm temperatures in December. Itís 37 and looks like rain is coming.

I try Elk Creek and Hellroaring but the crew is convinces their wolves are now in the Trough. Oh well. I head back east, stopping at Slough and Dorothyís to enjoy the clear views.

Unbeknownst to me, however, as I was lollygagging, the Shrimps were putting in a brief appearance north of Footbridge. I could not hear Laurieís radio call, and by the time I see her car, Iím too late.

Laurie and Dan and Rick were heading back east when they lucked out with a glimpse of wolves crossing the road to the north. Laurie saw 6; one black, 5 grays, one collared).

Alas for me, they have already disappeared into the trees.

I follow Rick into Soda Butte Valley to try to catch them as the wolves were traveling east. Across from the Soda Cone, I hear (and see) a bark-howling coyote at the base of a hill. The Shrimps are likely up there, out of sight.

I scope from Soda Butte east for a while, looking in all the gaps, but never see a single wolf.

I give up around noon and go in for a break.

The day gets even warmer and all the snow on the road turns to slush.

We go out around 3:30 to have another shot at finding the Shrimps, but they elude us.

Ah well, my timing was off today. Hopefully that will change tomorrow!

Today I saw: bison, coyotes, elk and the spirits of Allison, Richard and Jeff.

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